The People Who Braved The Storm In Washington D.C. For The March For Life

Marchers carry a banner during the March for Life 2016, in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, Friday, Jan. 22, 2016 in Washington, during the annual rally on the anniversary of 1973 'Roe v. Wade' U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion. (
AP Photo/Alex Brandon

WASHINGTON D.C. – Despite the historic snow storm on its way to wallop Washington D.C. Friday, thousands drove into the city to attend the pro-life March for Life rally.

The storm did have an effect on the size of the march, as several charter bus companies yanked their buses off the road – and other marchers were forced to leave early to beat the storm.

But those on hand were determined to take a stand for life – and prepared to scurry home after the march or hunker down for the weekend in Washington D.C.

“The weather forecast doesn’t scare me, we grew up in snow country,” Richard Wilcox from Cashtown, New York – he and his wife Janice rode on buses provided by the Diocese of Rochester – one of the few companies that didn’t cancel.

Another group, the Bikers For Life, came from New York to join the March.

When asked if they rode their motorcycles to the event, co-founder Mike Drosic laughed. “No we rode our snowmobiles down here wise guy,” he said. He said that they planned to drive back to New York as soon as the March was over.

“We gotta make it back home,” he said. “I left the beer cooler on the front deck and I don’t want it to freeze over.”

One group of eighth graders from St. Louis were planning to wait out the storm in Washington D.C. “Snow won’t stop us from supporting the unborn children,” they said. “Whenever we get out, we get out.”

Don Zaitz from South Carolina said that he didn’t hesitate when he heard the snow forecast – especially since he was originally from Wisconsin.

“That doesn’t bother me a bit,” he said, when asked about the snow. He traveled with a group of 42 parishioners from St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Garden City, South Carolina.

Benny, a man who carried a banner from St. Catherine Sienna in Florida, said that his group was not deterred by the weather.

“We’ve been coming for the last three or four years, and we’re going to keep coming until we can stop this – we want to stop abortion,” he said.

Kelsey Hazzard, the president of Secular Pro-Life flew to Washington D.C. from Florida to march with her group.

“We’re making the non-religious case against abortion,” she said. “You don’t have to be religious to know that abortion is wrong.”

She said her group not only represented atheists and agnostics Jewish, Pagan, Wiccan, more liberal Christians who didn’t feel like they belonged as part of the “religious right.”

“We’re not going to let a little snow stop us,” she said.

One group of 24 people traveled to the March from St. Cyril and Methodius parish in Texas. Parishioner Sharron Patek said that some of her group dropped out of the trip – not because of the snow but as a result of the terrorist attacks in Paris. They flew to Washington D.C. but were resigned to staying in the city for the snowstorm.

Jocelyn Nowels was dressed in a Captain America uniform as she marched with a group of students from Franciscan University in Stubenville, Ohio. She said that although a few students decided against coming, eight busloads of students and faculty traveled to Washington D.C. with about 50 kids per bus.

“There was a lot of panicking, especially among parents,” she admitted. She said that they were in touch with alumni in Washington D.C. to help them estimate the severity of the storm during the event.

“If the march is going to continue, we’re going to continue,” she said – noting that the plan was to get back on the buses at 5:00 p.m. and head back to Ohio.


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